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Publication numberUS20050127855 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/502,492
PCT numberPCT/EP2003/000638
Publication dateJun 16, 2005
Filing dateJan 23, 2003
Priority dateJan 24, 2002
Also published asCN1623262A, CN100367622C, DE50304655D1, EP1470627A2, EP1470627B1, US7042176, WO2003062018A2, WO2003062018A3
Publication number10502492, 502492, PCT/2003/638, PCT/EP/2003/000638, PCT/EP/2003/00638, PCT/EP/3/000638, PCT/EP/3/00638, PCT/EP2003/000638, PCT/EP2003/00638, PCT/EP2003000638, PCT/EP200300638, PCT/EP3/000638, PCT/EP3/00638, PCT/EP3000638, PCT/EP300638, US 2005/0127855 A1, US 2005/127855 A1, US 20050127855 A1, US 20050127855A1, US 2005127855 A1, US 2005127855A1, US-A1-20050127855, US-A1-2005127855, US2005/0127855A1, US2005/127855A1, US20050127855 A1, US20050127855A1, US2005127855 A1, US2005127855A1
InventorsAloys Wobben
Original AssigneeAloys Wobben
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Vehicle
US 20050127855 A1
Abstract
The present invention concerns a motor vehicle comprising at least one electric motor, an energy storage device for providing drive energy for the electric motor, a plug connector connected to the energy storage device for connection to a current source and a control means for controlling the flow of current from the current source to the energy storage device. Therefore the object of the invention is to provide a motor vehicle which can contribute to moderating the loading at consumption peaks in the network. A motor vehicle comprising at least one electric motor, an energy storage device for providing drive energy for the electric motor, a plug connector connected to the energy storage device for connection to a current source and a control means for controlling the flow of current from the current source to the energy storage device, characterised in that the control means permits a flow of current from the energy storage device to the current source (network).
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Claims(14)
1. A motor vehicle comprising at least one electric motor, an energy storage device for providing drive energy for the electric motor, a plug connector connected to the energy storage device for connection to a current source and a control means for controlling the flow of current through the current source and the energy storage device, wherein the control means permits a flow of current from the energy storage device to the current source, and the control means includes a device for detecting the amount of charge in the energy storage means and interrupts the flow of current from the energy storage device to the network when a predeterminable threshold value of the remaining residual charge amount is reached.
2. (canceled)
3. A motor vehicle as set forth in claim 1 characterised by a communication device for communication between the control means and the network.
4. A motor vehicle as set forth in claim 1 characterised in that the control means includes a clock or is connected to a clock.
5. A method of controlling the flow of current between an energy storage device and a network characterised in that the flow of current from the network to the energy storage device is permitted in predeterminable first periods of time and that the flow of current from the energy storage device to the network is permitted in also predeterminable second periods of time.
6. A vehicle comprising a drive, in particular as set forth in claim 1, and a storage device connected thereto for the storage of electrical energy, and a connection for a supply network, wherein associated with the storage device is a control means, by means of which when connected to the electrical supply network the storage device can be controlledly discharged and the electrical energy is fed into the electrical supply network.
7. A vehicle as set forth in claim 1 characterised in that by means of the control means the storage device is charged with controlled electrical energy when connected to an electrical supply network.
8. A vehicle as set forth in claim 1 characterised in that there are provided input means which are coupled to the control means and by means of which the user of the vehicle can set the time (period of time), within which discharge of the storage device and thus feed of the energy into the supply network can be at least partially implemented.
9. A vehicle as set forth in claim 1 characterised in that associated with the control means is a power management program which, when the vehicle is connected to an electrical supply network, causes an automatic charging or discharging operation for the storage device.
10. A supply network with a multiplicity of connections for a vehicle as set forth in claim 1.
11. A method of operating an electrical supply network as set forth in claim 10 characterised in that if required at least partial discharge of a plurality of storage devices, connected to the network, of vehicles as set forth in one of the preceding claims, is triggered.
12. A vehicle as set forth in claim 1 characterised in that the vehicle is fitted with a current meter/energy cell which measures the electrical energy received in the storage device and energy fed into the supply network.
13. A vehicle as set forth in claim 1 characterised in that provided in a vehicle is a recording unit which establishes when and what amount of electrical energy was charged into the storage device or fed into the electrical supply network.
14. A vehicle as set forth in claim 1 characterised in that the vehicle has an electrical connection plug which can be connected to a corresponding connection plug of the electrical supply network, wherein the connection plug has a ground line, by means of which data of the vehicle can be exchanged by way of a data network of the electrical supply utility and in addition further data can be fed in by way of the data network, for example data about the condition of the electrical storage device of the vehicle.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention at least one electric motor, an energy storage device for providing drive energy for the electric motor, a plug connector connected to the energy storage device for connection to a current source and more particularly, a control means for controlling the flow of current from the current source to the energy storage device and out of the energy storage device.

2. Description of the Related Art

Vehicles with an electric motor have been known for some time and are eminently suitable for journeys over short and medium distances. In order to make such a vehicle usable the available energy storage device has to be charged up. When the vehicle has covered a certain distance the energy storage device has to be charged up again. In that case, a careful driver will re-charge the energy storage device after each journey in order to always have at his disposal the greatest possible range.

As journeys with these vehicles—like also with all other vehicles—cannot always be exactly planned in advance, it can happen with such a procedure that the energy storage device of the vehicle is to be charged up precisely when the cost of the energy is at its highest, and when in addition the electrical supply network (the network) is most heavily loaded, for example during what is referred to as a midday peak.

That is disadvantageous for multiple reasons, including the high price of buying the energy and the additional loading on the electrical supply network, which in any case is already highly loaded.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed toward vehicles with at least one electric motor. In particular, embodiments of the present invention allow the user of the vehicle to economically benefit by synchronizing the charging of the energy storage device to low electrical consumption periods during a conventional day, and getting reimbursed at a higher rate by supplying energy back to the network during high electrical consumption periods during a conventional day. Embodiments of the present invention further provide a motor vehicle that can contribute to moderating the loading during high electrical consumption peaks in the network. Additionally, the instant invention provides means to prevent the overcharging of the energy storage device.

The objects of the present invention are attained by a motor vehicle of the kind set forth in the opening part of this specification, in that the control means permits a flow of current from the energy storage device to the current source. In that way a flow of current can take place from the energy storage device of the motor vehicle back into the network and can thus contribute to covering the high electrical consumption peak demand.

In a preferred embodiment of the present invention the flow of current from the energy storage device to the current source, for example into the current network, is controlled in such a way that a predeterminable residual amount of electrical energy is retained in the energy storage device, by the control means interrupting the flow of current to the network when said predetermined residual charge amount is reached. For that purpose, there is provided a device for detecting the amount of charge in the energy storage device.

In a preferred embodiment of the present invention the control means communicates with the network through a communication device so that the draw of energy can be controlled in the optimum fashion from the network, depending on the location of the motor vehicle and the available amount of charge.

In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the control means is designed in such a way that it includes a clock or is connected to a clock. In that way the control means can operate in such a fashion that charging and discharging operations take place in predeterminable periods of time. It is possible in that way to preferably charge up the energy storage device at night when on the one hand the loading on the supply network is low and on the other hand the costs of charging it up are low, while discharging preferably takes place at times when relieving the load on the supply network makes sense and the costs of the energy are higher than the costs during the charging procedure. In that way it is also possible to achieve an economic advantage, from the point of view of the operator of the vehicle, in addition to relieving the load on the supply network.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a simplified block circuit diagram depicting an arrangement of a control means, an energy storage device, a drive motor, and a releasable connector, connected to a current source, according to one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a graph representing an example of the power demand on an electrical power supply utility with respect to different times throughout a conventional day.

FIG. 3 is a graph portraying a charge condition time-table with the charge condition of a vehicle according to one embodiment of the present invention in relation to the time throughout a conventional day.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 shows a simplified block circuit diagram of the arrangement of components according to the present invention. A frame 1 includes those components that are associated with the motor vehicle. Accordingly, the motor vehicle includes a control means 10. The control means 10 is connected to an energy storage device 20, a drive motor 40 and a releasable connector 50 which for example may be in the form of a plug connector. There is also a connection between the connector 50 and a current source 30, which in one embodiment of the instant invention as indicated in FIG. 1, may be in the form of an electrical current supply network.

In order to provide sufficient energy for operation of the motor vehicle 1, the control means 10 monitors the charge condition of the energy storage device which can be for example a battery, a capacitor storage device, or the like. When the control means 10 recognizes that charging of the energy storage device 20 is required, the control means 10 allows a flow of current from the network 30 to the energy storage device 20 by way of the connector 50 and the energy storage device is charged up. It will be appreciated that, in that case, the control means 10 can also take account of the corresponding charging characteristics of the energy storage device so that overcharging of the energy storage device may be reliably prevented.

The control means can also permit charging in a predeterminable first period of time. That makes it possible for the energy storage device 20 to be preferably charged up at night when on the one hand the price of the electric current is low and thus the costs involved in charging the energy storage device also remains comparatively low while on the other hand the loading on the supply network 30 is not very high. In addition the control means can be so designed that it permits a flow of current from the energy storage device 20 by way of the plug connector 50 into the network 30.

In that respect the amount of charge which can be delivered can be limited by a predeterminable residual amount of charge at the energy storage device 20.

For example, after a journey to the place of work, with the energy storage device 20 fully charged, the energy which is still present in the energy storage device can be fed into the network 30 again if the demand is particularly high, for example for the midday peak. However, the control means interrupts the flow of current from the energy storage device 20 into the network 30 when a predeterminable residual amount of charge in the energy storage device 20 is reached, so that at any event an adequate amount of energy in the energy storage device for the return journey in the evening is guaranteed.

It will be appreciated that the current which is fed into the network at the high electrical consumption peak time is to be suitably reimbursed so that in addition to the aspect of relieving the load on the network, there is also an economic advantage to be achieved for the user of the vehicle.

In accordance with one embodiment of the present invention a vehicle with an electrical energy storage device may also be used as an energy source for a power supply network from which the vehicle possibly draws its energy.

As is known the power demand during the day is markedly higher than the power demand at night. Thus for example the power demand in a public power supply network rises from a low point at between 1 A.M. and 4 A.M., the middle of the night towards a morning peak then reaches its highest level (midday peak) around midday and then decreases in the evening again until it reaches its low level in the middle of the night. Since the energy demand at night is markedly lower than the usual available energy supply, energy consumed at nighttime is markedly lower in price than the price for daytime power.

An electrical power supply network then has to be designed in such a way that it has to cover without any problem not only the demand at night, but also the is demand at the highest daytime peaks. In regard to the electrical supply utilities, that means that a large number of electrical energy generators must be provided, which reliably guarantee that such a demand is met, even at very high midday peaks (on a cold winter's day).

Now, at this point, the present invention proposes that an electric vehicle which usually draws its electrical energy from an electrical supply network and which therefore also has suitable connections with a connection to an electrical power supply network, if necessary, at a given moment in time, can also feed energy that is not required, into the supply network.

For example, in one embodiment of the instant invention, if the vehicles have to be used by the population working on weekdays, only in the periods between 7 A.M. and 8.30 A.M. and about 4.30 P.M. and 6.30 P.M., such a motor vehicle is in a parking place, without being used, for most of the day. Prior related art has provided for means to charge the energy storage device of an electric vehicle, however, it has failed to recognize or provide means for other advantageous uses of that stored energy when the vehicle is parked. In one embodiment of the instant invention, after the motor vehicle has reached the place of work, it may be connected to an electrical power supply network in order to provide energy back to the network as required, for the peak electrical power consumption times.

If in that case the motor vehicle has at least one energy storage device such as batteries which efficiently discharge or charge up, it is therefore possible, with a number such as 500-1000 units of such vehicles, to provide a very high level of feed-in power for the network.

One particular advantage for the electrical power supply utility is that it can have recourse to an electrical energy storage device, which it has not paid for itself and for the maintenance of which it also does not have to bear responsibility. In accordance with yet another of several objects of the instant invention, from the point of view of the user of the vehicle, the advantage of the invention is that, for example at the midday time when therefore he does not in any case require his motor vehicle because he is at his place of work, he virtually rents the energy storage device, which is still well filled, of his vehicle, to the electrical power supply utility, and can sell the energy contained therein. The consumer can therefore feed the electrical energy from his vehicle into the power supply network at midday and will receive a comparatively higher price, while at night he has to arrange for charging up his vehicle at a lower price (night-time current).

Alternatively, the power output by the energy storage device 20 can be fed into the consumer's own home or workplace to reduce or eliminate the amount of power the consumer draws from the power network during periods when the price of electrical power is higher than the price when the energy storage device 20 was charged with power.

It will be appreciated that, in accordance with the present invention, it is also provided that the electrical energy storage device of the vehicle does not fall below a given minimum level and, if necessary, the energy storage device of the vehicle can also be charged up again after the midday peak, more specifically when the demand, and thus the price, of energy in the network has decreased again in the afternoon.

It can however also be provided that the user individually adjusts his vehicle in such a way that, in the evening, he has sufficient energy to complete his journey home (minimum content of energy with a sufficient level of certainty of arriving home) so that total charging of the energy storage device is only effected again during the following night, with the corresponding night-time current.

In alternate embodiments of the present invention, by means of suitable programming (possibly also by way of remote input (the user employing his cellular phone)), the user of the vehicle can also predetermine the periods or the times only within which discharging of his energy storage device can take place.

The invention may be particularly suitable in conurbations where there are large parking lots and large multi-story car parks. The invention may be quite particularly suitable for use in multi-story car parks at airports, in particular those airports which carry holiday traffic, for at such car parks there are often many thousands of private cars which are completely unused for several days. During that period, a suitable power management system at the corresponding connection of the vehicles, if they are in the form of electric vehicles according to the instant invention, could be made available to the electrical power supply network which discharges the respective energy storage devices of the vehicles at peak times and charges the energy storage devices of the vehicles with electrical energy again at the periods of lower demand.

The invention is described in greater detail hereinafter in accordance to one embodiment as illustrated in the FIG. 1.

Herein FIG. 1—as described—shows an overview of the connection of a vehicle according to one embodiment of the present invention to an electrical power supply network. FIG. 2 shows a conventional day chart of the power demand in the case of an electrical power supply utility. FIG. 3 shows a charge condition time table with the charge condition of a vehicle according to one example of use of the present invention.

The energy storage device 20 of the vehicle 1 is equipped with a suitable electronic control means (power management system) 10 which makes it possible to trigger and control not only electrical charging but also discharging of the energy storage device.

In addition the power management system can also be programmed in such a way that discharging is possible only for a quite specific time which is predetermined by the user. For example, it can be provided that discharging and thus a feed of power into the electrical energy supply network is possible only during the time from 10 A.M. to 3 P.M., otherwise, when the vehicle is connected to the supply network, the energy storage device is being correspondingly charged.

The power management system or control means 10 can also be programmed in such a way that, when discharging is effected in the period from 7 A.M. to 4 P.M., charging does not take place straightaway, but charging occurs only in the night period between 12 midnight and 4 A.M., particularly when appropriate night-time current is to be taken from an electrical supply network.

In addition the power management system or control means 10 of the vehicle can be programmed in such a way that basically a minimum amount of charge remains in the energy storage device, that is to say cannot be fed into the supply network, in order in any case to ensure that the user can properly travel the distance that he wants, in his vehicle, for example the journey home from his place of work.

It will be appreciated that still further programming modes are possible, so that the power management system can also be set by the user himself, in any conceivable manner, according to his respective wishes, while if necessary there is the possibility of a feed into the power supply network.

As can be seen from FIG. 2 the current/energy demand of an electrical supply utility (ESU) is not distributed linearly over the entire day, but rises from a lowest point early in the morning (about 1 am to 3 am), reaches a first morning peak, then later reaches the so-called midday peak, that is to say its highest point, and then decreases irregularly towards the night again. The electrical power supply network which has the responsibility of always making sufficient electrical energy available to the consumers connected to the electrical supply network, even at peak times, has to ensure that appropriate energy is fed into the supply network; that there is always so much energy in readiness at all times, including extraordinary high electrical consumption peak times; and that it provides electrical supply with electrical energy at a constant voltage level and a constant frequency at all times. It is apparent that a large number of control interventions both on the producer side and also in terms of the distribution of electrical energy is already required nowadays for that purpose.

FIG. 3 shows a configuration by way of one of numerous possible examples of the charge condition of the electrical energy storage device of a vehicle according to the instant invention. In the electrical energy storage device which was charged with night-time current during the night, and which therefore exhibits a one hundred percent filling (I), that charge condition falls, in the morning journey (II) to the place of work. When the place of work is reached (Ill) and the vehicle is connected by way of the electric lines to the electrical supply network, the charge condition is possibly returned to one hundred percent again. At the midday time (IV), when the midday peak occurs (see FIG. 2), a large part of the stored electrical energy in the energy storage device is fed into the connected electrical supply network so that the charge condition correspondingly falls within a very short time to a prescribed minimum (V). That minimum has been set by the user or the vehicle manufacturer (it can also be set in another fashion) and should be sufficient for the vehicle to be able to still make the journey home, without charging it up beforehand.

In the illustrated example however the charge condition can also be increased again in the afternoon (VI) by taking energy from the supply network and during the journey home (VII) the charge condition further falls again. When the electric vehicle is subsequently connected to the electrical power supply network the charge condition can be restored to the prescribed value (100%) again in the evening or at night (VlIl).

It should be pointed out once again that the configuration as set forth in FIG. 3 is given purely by way of example. One skilled in the art, however, will understand that the present invention may have alternative charge condition configuration depending on the manner of usage by the vehicle owner or by the manner of programming by the vehicle manufacturer.

If the electric vehicle has a suitable input surface, the user of the vehicle can execute a large number of setting adjustments.

Thus for example, by means of a suitable input, the user can predetermine the periods of time, within which only discharging of the electrical energy storage device can take place at all, when connected to an electrical supply network.

As corresponding documentation of the charging and discharging operations shows, the user, even after several days, can still see when and what amounts of energy were fed into the electrical supply network.

In addition to the electrical energy storage device, for example a lithium battery or another storage technology, the vehicle according to the instant invention has a suitable power management system or control means 10 for controlling the charge condition of the electrical energy storage device 20 and for evaluation of the inputs of the user and also for documentation purposes.

In addition the vehicle can have a suitable data interface (in lieu or in addition to receiver/transmitter for wireless (cellular phone) control) so that the vehicle can send to or receive from a suitable interface of the electrical power supply utility, all data which are necessary for charging and also for discharging (feed into the network).

Such a data interface facilitates documentation of the respective discharging and charging conditions/times and billing thereof. In regard to billing, account is to be taken of the fact that current which is fed into the network at the midday peak can be reimbursed at a price higher than the price for night-time current which usually can be made available without any problem and at a lower price in relatively large amounts.

Discharging of the energy storage device with the feed of electrical energy into the power supply network, can also be used for possibly appropriately charging other vehicles with an electrical energy storage device, the charge condition of which has become too low, to such an extent that those vehicles can still continue to travel.

Therefore the invention also permits a plurality of vehicles to be electrically connected together, with their electrical energy storage devices.

All of the above U.S. patents, U.S. patent application publications, U.S. patent applications, foreign patents, foreign patent applications and non-patent publications referred to in this specification and/or listed in the Application Data Sheet, are incorporated herein by reference, in their entirety.

From the foregoing it will be appreciated that, although specific embodiments of the invention have been described herein for purposes of illustration, various modifications may be made without deviating from the spirit and scope of the of invention. Accordingly, the invention is not limited except as by the appended claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7541757 *Oct 5, 2007Jun 2, 2009Aloys WobbenMotor vehicle
US7719232May 1, 2009May 18, 2010Tesla Motors, Inc.Method for battery charging based on cost and life
US7777434Apr 27, 2009Aug 17, 2010Aloys WobbenMotor vehicle
US7782021Jul 18, 2007Aug 24, 2010Tesla Motors, Inc.Battery charging based on cost and life
US7786704May 1, 2009Aug 31, 2010Tesla Motors, Inc.System for battery charging based on cost and life
US8186465Aug 30, 2006May 29, 2012Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki KaishaHybrid vehicle and controlling method thereof
EP1920986A1 *Aug 30, 2006May 14, 2008Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki KaishaHybrid vehicle and controlling method thereof
WO2009012018A2 *Jun 20, 2008Jan 22, 2009Tesla Motors IncBattery charging based on cost and life
WO2011141214A1 *Mar 23, 2011Nov 17, 2011Robert Bosch GmbhMethod and apparatus for determining an excess amount of energy of an electric energy store of a vehicle
Classifications
U.S. Classification318/139
International ClassificationB60L11/18, H02J3/32, H02J3/38, H02J7/04
Cooperative ClassificationY04S30/14, Y04S10/126, Y02E60/721, Y02T90/169, B60L3/0046, H02J3/32, B60L11/1842, Y02T90/14, Y02T90/128, Y02T90/121, H02J3/38, H02J7/041, B60L11/1844, Y02T90/163, Y02T10/7088, B60L11/1816, Y02T10/7005, B60L11/184
European ClassificationB60L3/00F6, B60L11/18L7J4, B60L11/18L7J6, B60L11/18L7J2, H02J3/38, B60L11/18L4, H02J3/32
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Oct 31, 2013FPAYFee payment
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Nov 2, 2009FPAYFee payment
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Oct 31, 2006CCCertificate of correction